PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine_Spring2018 - 39

p h i l a m e d s o c  .o rg

making screening high-risk patients for hepatitis B covered
by most insurance. Based on these guidelines, the Hepatitis
B Foundation developed and published a simple, one-page
algorithm for testing and follow-up of patients. We also have a
number of free, multi-lingual educational tools created by CDC
through the Know Hepatitis B Campaign that focus on how
hepatitis B is transmitted, prevented, and treated. These useful
resources make it easy to educate and talk to high-risk patients
about the need for hepatitis B testing. While we don't yet have
a cure, we do have good antiviral treatments to help slow down
the virus and prevent liver damage in those patients who need
it. With this arsenal of tools, it is now easier than ever to screen
and manage patients for hepatitis B.
We also have new prevention tools. In November 2016, the
FDA approved Heplisav-B, a new two-dose hepatitis B vaccine,
for use in adults. Among U.S. adults, the hepatitis B vaccine
coverage rates hovers at a low 25 percent. As we all know, getting
people to complete a three-dose vaccine series is difficult. The
Hepatitis B Foundation and the Philadelphia Department of
Health ran a free hepatitis B vaccine clinic in 2010-2012, and
saw only 10 percent of people return for the third dose! Having
a two-dose vaccine can greatly improve completion rates and
help prevent new hepatitis B infections from occurring.
Hepatitis B is a common infection locally, with an estimated 20,000 infected Philadelphians. In 2007, the Hepatitis
B Foundation, with partners around the city, initiated Hep B
United Philadelphia, a coalition to improve hepatitis B awareness,
screening and linkage to care in Philadelphia. Since 2007, the
coalition has grown to include over 75 organizational partners,
representing health systems, social service and cultural community-based organizations, providers, public health professionals,
student groups, and the Philadelphia Department of Health.
Together, we have educated over 10,000 Philadelphians; screened
over 3,500 high-risk individuals; provided over 500 doses of free
hepatitis B vaccine; and linked over 200 infected individuals into
care. These local community-based hepatitis B screening programs
have shown that we have very high rates of hepatitis B infection
in the Asian-American and African immigrant communities.
We've seen an overall prevalence of 8 percent, but these rates
range from 4 percent in the Korean community, to 7 percent in
the Vietnamese community and over 10 percent in the Chinese
and African communities. At the same time, we have found that
less than 10 perfcent of these community members have been
tested - so most are unaware of their disease. It is critical that we
improve hepatitis B testing and linkage to care in Philadelphia.

FREE Hepatitis B & C
Continuing Education
Course
This CE will focus on testing and diagnostics
for hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

May 19, 2018 - 9am-12pm
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown,
201 N 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
* 3 hours of CE credits are available for
physicians, pharmacists and nurses
* Free breakfast and lunch included

For questions or to register,
contact Catherine.Freeland@hepb.org
Event Sponsored By:

The current need is magnified by the recent rise in opioid use in
Philadelphia. In the U.S., we have seen an overall 20.7 percent increase
in acute hepatitis B incidence for the first time since 2006 - and among
highly impacted communities, acute hepatitis B cases have increased
as much as 114 percent! As Philadelphia has become an epicenter for
the opioid epidemic, we must be thinking about how we can address
acute hepatitis B locally through testing and vaccination.
We can achieve global elimination of hepatitis B by starting in
our own backyard. Join the Hepatitis B Foundation and Hep B
United Philadelphia as we work towards this goal: consider educating
and screening your high-risk patients for hepatitis B and using the
vaccine to help boost protection among adults. We can save lives
working together. For more information about how you can join our
education, research and screening programs, or to find multi-lingual
patient education materials or published screening guidelines, visit us
at www.hepb.org or email us at info@hepb.org. *

Spring 2018 : Philadelphia Medicine 39


https://philamedsoc.org/ http://www.hepb.org

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